Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

1987 Austrian Grand Prix

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Date  August 16, 1987
Course length  5.942 km (3.692 mi)
1987 Austrian Grand Prix
Official name  XX Holiday Großer Preis von Osterreich
Location  Österreichring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  52 laps, 308.984 km (191.984 mi)

The 1987 Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Österreichring on August 16, 1987. It was the tenth round of the 1987 Formula One season. It was the twentieth Austrian Grand Prix and the last to be held at the Österreichring for ten years. It was held over 52 laps of the six kilometre circuit for a race distance of 309 kilometres.


The race was won by British driver Nigel Mansell driving a Williams FW11B. He led home team mate Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet by 56 seconds. It was Mansell's third win of the season, and Williams' fifth consecutive win. Teo Fabi finished third in the best result of the season so far for the Benetton team. It was, however, the first of only two podiums for Benetton for the 1987 season. It was also the second and final podium of Fabi's Formula One career having previously had a third place at the 1984 Detroit Grand Prix.

Race summary

The race was plagued with accidents. The first major incident came when Stefan Johansson hit a deer with his McLaren MP4/3 after it wandered onto the circuit during Friday practice. The terrified deer was crossing the track to seek refuge from the noise of the cars when it was struck by Johansson traveling at close to 140 mph (225 km/h), killing it instantly. The McLaren left front suspension was broken in the impact causing it to spear off into the guardrail and all four corners of the car, as well as the carbon fibre monocoque were destroyed. Johansson was fortunate to escape with little more than a headache, though he was later flown by helicopter to a hospital in Klagenfurt for x-rays after complaining of headaches and neck pains. His crash caused McLaren to have to fly a spare car overnight from the teams base in Woking. Nelson Piquet's Williams-Honda had collided with the AGS of Pascal Fabre, ending with the Williams impacting in the wall.

The first race start ended quickly after the Zakspeed of Martin Brundle crashed, then the two Tyrrells of Jonathan Palmer and Philippe Streiff collided in the ensuing chaos with Piercarlo Ghinzani also crashing his Ligier. The second attempt to start was more serious. Mansell on the front row crawled away with clutch problems and the grid compacted behind him. The Österreichring's narrow front straight saw to the rest when Eddie Cheever (Arrows) and Riccardo Patrese (Brabham) collided and half the grid, including Johansson, Alex Caffi (Osella), Ivan Capelli (March), Pascal Fabre, Philippe Alliot (Larrousse-Lola), and both Zakspeeds of Brundle and Christian Danner were involved in the ensuing pile-up.

For the third start Streiff was missing. Tyrrell had run out of usable cars and Palmer got the use of the surviving DG016 as he had qualified higher (24th) than his team mate (25th). Several drivers were in repaired cars or in spare cars, including Ayrton Senna after a CV joint failed in his Lotus during the second start. The third start, over two hours late, continued to claim cars. Alain Prost (McLaren) had an electrical failure as the warm-up lap began. The team mechanics got the car going and Prost started from pitlane along with Senna and the Ferrari of Michele Alboreto. The third attempt to start had no problems although Johansson soon pitted with a puncture then had a tyre fall off on his out lap after a chaotic pitstop. Johansson made it back to the pits and resumed.

Piquet led early from Thierry Boutsen in his Benetton and Mansell. Boutsen pitted with gear linking problem and Mansell leapt past Piquet during pitstops. Fabi (Benetton) was a lap down in third ahead of Boutsen in a season best result for the team. Recovering from their difficulties Senna, Prost and Johansson finished fifth, sixth and seventh. Ghinzani was eighth for Ligier ahead of Danner and René Arnoux in the second Ligier. Sixteen cars finished although Fabre had not completed enough laps to be classified and 14th placed Brundle would be disqualified for a bodywork infringement on the spare Zakspeed 871, pressed into service after the startline collisions.

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for all four sets of standings.
  • References

    1987 Austrian Grand Prix Wikipedia

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